Monday, February 18, 2019

Internet lawyer recommends reform of DMCA Safe Harbor and clearer definition of Fair Use, to fend off "false copyright strikes" on YouTube

YouTuberLaw discusses “False Strikes and Free Speech”.   The video appears to be motivated by reported increases in "copyright strike scams" against YouTube creators. 

Lior Lesig discusses the differences between how DMCA Safe Harbor (1996, for alleged copyright infringement) and Section 230 (for most other torts) for downstream liability exposure for platforms.

Legacy media lobbied hard for something like the DMCA Safe Harbor process. 

DMCA is set up to presume that a content creator is guilty of infringement, requiring a platform to take it down immediately, and making the creator follow a specific process to appeal. 

This of course could be compared to the Article 13 proposal as part of the EU Copyright Directive, which aims to prevent infringing video from being uploaded at all by “amateurs”. 

Lesig thinks that Fair Use needs to be defined more precisely in Copyright Law, and be retrofitted into the DMCA process. 

He also recommends that YouTube (which already has ContendID and counter claim processing), could punish filers or false claims by banning uploading content (but not preventing future claims).  
 He says this could be a parallel process to change the “balance of power”. 

Update: Feb. 19

Ars Technica has a detailed article by Timothy B. Lee on the incident where The Verge / Vox filed a DMCA takedown request against two videos that mocked an earlier video about building a gaming PC.  Someone at Vox apparently asked for copyright strikes (which could get a video creator banned) and was vengeful.  The strikes were removed in a few yours after the video creator was notified. This seems to be the incident tlat Lior is emphasizing. 

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